Attaching a positive spin is always a priority


As art therapist and personal coach, Susan enjoys motivating others, individuals as well as businesses and groups—adults or children. En groupe or one-to-one, her style is practical, playful, and purposeful. The intention: to help assuage daily and/or bigger picture challenges, consistently, persistently, and with heart.

The American Art Therapy Association chose Susan for their International Spotlight, Spring 2010 Newsletter, available here as PDF.



Susan works holistically and realistically, considers and connects what clients wish to achieve with pacing/goals that are appropriate and timely. Step by step processes are tailored to meet individual needs, blocks lifted to make space for fresh possibilities. When “no-thinking” turns into “yes-doing” there are a lot more options.

Approach: "We work as a team. It’s not just what happens at a session. Homework and follow-up matter: commitment to be an active participant. Once effort and instinct ignite, movement happens—and magic!

Consultations: in person, by phone, on-line.


Public Speaking and Presentations

Susan is an inspirational and charismatic public speaker in both corporate and more personal settings, locally and internationally. Her presentations and workshops draw on diverse and evolving experience and expertise. Her published books are a testimony to contributions in the field of expressive arts therapies. Upcoming publications and on-going art-related projects show an ever-growing range of skills, interests, and sympathies.

Topics include but are not limited to:

    • Expressive Arts Therapies and Creativity
    • Management of Stress and Time, as well as for Personal and Organizational Development
    • Pet Assisted Therapy
    • Poetry as Therapy and Creative Journaling
    • Transitions and Optimizing: in or from Relationship, and as Single or Solo
    • Travel, Relocation, Cultural Connections
    • Wellbeing and Lifestyle
    • Writing for Personal and Professional Development and Creative Problem Solving


Self-Help/Inspirational Doodles

Susan is a big advocate of doodle-making for stress relief and reflection. We doodle not only when we are bored, but also out of frustration, loneliness, or confusion. Doodles can help us decipher… No particular skill or talent is required for doodling. Perhaps, the less the better. Susan has tips and explanations:

  1. The doodle is (usually) for the doodler's eyes only. However, you never know what might emerge and who might be interested in seeing it. When there's no pressure to perform, produce, or complete something, we're often more relaxed. What develops can surprise us, as well as those with whom we choose to share.
  2. It is easy to make a personal doodle kit—one that's small and light enough to accompany you most anywhere. Contents: doodle paper or notebook that can be as tiny as 3 inches square, pencil or pen, small packet of markers, pastels, or pencil crayons. Mini-kits don't draw unnecessary attention/take up space if/when used during a lecture, beside the phone, at your desk, under the table, on the bus, on the loo, or elsewhere...
  3. Doodling can become a personal healer and friend. No need to be stuck for company or entertainment. Also, batteries, fees, or cables aren't required. Doodling is a low-tech, cost-effective way to play, grow, unwind, and simplify. (Digital/tablet art-making is not quite the same.)
  4. Doodling may be a well-kept secret, or a survival strategy/life line. Intentions vary. Sometimes, the more you doodle, the more you willl want to. Other times, there is no desire. Even infrequent doodlers have little difficulty getting back into it—like riding a bicycle, but without storage or maintenance problems. Doodling materials fit in your pocket, or a pouch no rusting.
  5. Doodle symbols, styles, shapes, and forms may be produced over and again, and usually not for any apparent reason. Most people realize, eventually, that they have their own identifiable repertoire. Regardless, the “plus” for doodling is realizing that, regardless of what you end up creating, you cannot be graded or analyzed for it (unless you seek to be). Some who become hooked on doodling decide to share their doodles, or use them as sketches for more significant artistic creations.
  6. When you notice what is pleasing, beneficial, or original in your doodles. It can lead to "aha" moments. Susan believes that the best gifts come from unexpected sources—such as doodles.

Viewing Susan's Doodles

Sometimes, Susan gives her doodles names. Other times, a statement, reflection, or poem accompanies. What she writes can depend on various factors: medium used (ink, watercolor, or pastel), size and form of the doodle, time the doodle takes to complete, time spent contemplating. Some words are inspirational. Others say things plainly—help identify truths, realities, or assumptions that can be hard to hear or accept. Certain images speak for themselves. No matter how, why, or when words are chosen to go with doodles, moments in time are recorded and represented. These canoffer viewers, as well as creators, opportunities to vent, celebrate, stress, accept, and more...

By sharing her personal doodles, Susan hopes viewers will feel encouraged to try doodling for their own self-help.

To view Susan's doodles, please click on links given below, or examples in the left hand column. New pages will open and viewing instructions are included with each. Enjoy!



"Dr. Makin is a leader and a role model and she stands out among so many other professionals because she is an independent thinker and a free spirit. She is profoundly sincere and compassionate. When Dr. Makin commits to a client, she goes the extra mile." (teacher/care-giver)

"Dr. Makin exhibits extreme dedication to her clients' well being. In her work she is constantly taking into consideration the many variables that may add to or detract from her clients' progress. Her expertise and empathetic nature instill a high level of confidence in her clients knowing that they are working with an accomplished professional who cares!" (CEO/volunteer fundraiser)

"Dr. Makin has an innate gift that can untie what keeps one from moving on. She is an enabler." (social worker/single mother)

"Dr. Makin has consistently provided me with sound advice in a variety of important situations. She is considerate, determined, insightful, kind and dedicated. Her down-to-earth wisdom—based on sound judgement and an intuitive understanding of my circumstances and personality—has greatly helped me." (scientist/mature student)

"Dr. Makin is an exceptional listener. I get the sense that she really understands my journey. And from that position, her advice emanates empathy and hope." (entrepreneur/single father)

"Dr. Makin is an exceptional advisor—brilliant, insightful, a great listener. Always able to help brainstorm a creative solution to a tough problem. She really cares about her clients and is always available." (business developer/event planner)

Are you aware? "Art Therapy" has been added to the National Institutes of Health's professional career database. Also,, a leading US job recruitment service, named "art therapist" as one of the "ten hot jobs for 2007." Both the American Art Therapy Association and the Canadian Art Therapy Association offer more detailed information and resources.